Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Legislative News

* A perennial bill is being re-introduced with a new sponsor, House Minority Leader Tre Hargett, that would serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, it lets those with concealed carry permits take their firearms into establishments that serve alcohol, provided the establishment doesn't prohit them. That's what this story, from Nashville, plays up. But the more important purpose is to close a defect in the law that potentially punishes those caught leaving their firearms outside in their vehicles, which is a technical violation.

Democrats are crying foul, claiming it's a ploy to get their votes on the record for elections coming up. Given that this bill comes up every year, that's not really true, is it? Besides, as the article surprisingly points out:
While West says permit carriers haven’t committed felonies, according to the Department of Safety 133 permits were revoked last year for various requirement violations, said Beth Denton, DOS spokesperson. More than 155,000 Tennesseans possess permits, she said.
No felonies? So what's the problem? And only 133 revocations? That's not even one-tenth of one percent! Again, what's the problem?

Thanks to Say Uncle for posting this.

* On the local front, State Senator Roscoe Dixon (D, Black Orthodoxy) has introduced a bill to require a push-button deactivated voice warning on all day-care vans. I'm generally skeptical of mechanical solutions as lazy people will always find a way around them. Note that this was proposed after the Department of Human Services created a ten-page document of procedures that day-cares were supposed to follow. Apparently, new laws didn't work either.

Pretty much all solutions will require more money, making day-care cost prohibitive to some. The best solution -- paying a really decent wage to day-care workers than will make the onerous requirements worthwhile -- still hasn't occured to anyone yet.

The fun part of this story, though, occurs at the very end:
Sen. David Fowler, R-Signal Mountain, wants to limit the legislation's impact to the Memphis area and have the Department of Human Services issue a report after two years saying how effective it is "before we extend this cost to everyone across the state."

Several day care operators have complained in recent years that costly state mandates are driving them out of business.

Fowler said no child had died on a day care van in his area of Southeast Tennessee.
Ouch! The facts hurt, don't they?

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